Yaz and Yasmin Side Effect Lawsuits Filed by Nearly 40 Women in Indiana

Lawsuits over side effects of Yasmin and Yaz were filed by nearly 40 women this month in Indiana, alleging that Bayer Healthcare Corp’s popular birth control pills caused them to suffer injuries like gallbladder problems and blood clot-related injuries.

The Yaz and Yasmin suits, which were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis, will join a growing number of similar cases filed by women throughout the United States. Already more than 300 women have filed a Yaz side effect lawsuit or Yasmin side effect lawsuit against Bayer, and it is expected that thousands of cases will ultimately be filed.

One of the new complaints was filed on February 2 on behalf of 31 women who had to have their gallbladders removed after taking Yaz or Yasmin, and a second complaint was filed on February 3 on behalf of 8 more women who suffered various injuries allegedly caused by the birth control pills, such as a pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, stroke, heart arrhthymia leading to ablation surgery, petit mal seizure, micro-vascular stroke in the eye and hemolytic-uremic syndrome kidney failure. Although both of the complaints were filed in Indiana, the plaintiffs included women from 20 states, including Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, California, New York, Georgia, Missouri, Utah, Michigan, Idaho, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.

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The lawsuits contain nearly identical allegations to those raised in other cases, claiming that Bayer failed to adequately research their medications or warn about the risk of Yaz and Yasmin side effects.

It is suspected that the problems with Yaz and Yasmin are linked to the use of a “fourth generation” progestin, known as drospirenone, which is unique to these birth control pills and a generic version of Yazmin marketed as Ocella. Drospirenone can cause an increase in potassium levels in the blod, which can lead to a condition known as hyperkalemia if potassium levels become too high. This may disrupt normal heart rhythms and slow the flow of blood through the heart to the point where it permits a blood clot to form.

The complaints also claim that Bayer over-promoted Yaz and Yasmin, alleging that the drug maker promoted additional benefits over other birth control pills without fully disclosing the potential increased risk of side effects. The FDA has previously penalized Bayer for deceptive advertising in connection with the birth control pills. Last year, the pharmaceutical company was required to spend $20 million to run a corrective advertising campaign after promoting unapproved and unsubstantiated health benefits of Yaz while downplaying side effects.

All federal Yaz and Yasmin cases are consolidated in an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, which is centralized in the Southern District of Illinois. It is expected that the two new complaints filed in Indiana will be transferred into the MDL, for coordinated pretrial proceedings together with the other federal cases. Similar mass tort consolidation has been formed for Yaz and Yasmin cases filed in Pennsylvania state court and a petition is also pending to consolidate cases filed in New Jersey state courts.

1 Comments

  • notgivenFebruary 21, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Bayer is also engaging in a form of slave labor in the US. They hire people as temps, but them give them highly specialized training and keep them for many years (justifying the temp status by putting them on "projects"). The slave labor part comes in when the temps try to leave at the end of their contract. The temp agency can infinitely "extend" the contract against the worker's wishes.

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